Monday, January 31, 2011

Dil Ki Baat - Blog Ke Saath

I have read somewhere that we bloggers think we are changing the world. Ridiculous notion, isn't it? I mean how egotistical can you get? But believe it or not, there are some bloggers in the blogosphere who have my utmost respect. Why? Because their thoughts move me or their analytical skills impress me or their way of expression inspires me...whatever the reason, I am always looking for new, fresh blogs to read, but unfortunately what you find when you search is mostly the commercial blogs and while I love reading what Google have to say, what I enjoy the most is personal blogs from people who philosophize about everything and nothing.

This morning, through a very round-about route, I came upon a blog that delighted me immensely. This girl writes about the simple things in life, her slant is usually heart-touching and positive. The blog is called Dil Ki Baat Blog ke Saath. Loosely translated it means - Using the Blog to Speak from the Heart.

Here is the link:

Even though she is Indian and the blog is named in Hindi, she posts in English and is an absolute delight to read! The fact that you read my blog convinces me that you'd love hers! Highly recommended!

Biphasic sleep log - Day 10 - 30th Jan

Evening 30th:
I still have that feeling that I don't have enough time in the day. And as such even though my body is ready for the nap mentally I feel pressed for time. Felt this especially during this weekend.

As such today's nap was relatively uneventful. I was feeling quite sleepy right from 1730 so went to nap exactly at 1800 with an alarm for 1945.

Woke up at 1900 and got up. Got up because it felt like I had finished my nap, even though I looked at the time.

Morning 31st:

Woke up by the alarm right on the dot of 0545. Needless to say I had gone to bed as per my schedule at 0100 last night. Another things I had learned this weekend was that MP3 songs are slightly less effective as alarm on this schedule. So, last night I changed my alarm sound to beeps and it worked this morning.
The motivation to stay up was also from the pressure to get ready and go to work today.
Even though I was awake quickly, I am still not very alert as I was on Friday. I put it down to three reasons,

1. Monday morning

2. Lack of caffeine (Chai Latte is very weak in caffeine content)

3. Deviation from schedule on both weekend mornings.
I am happy to report that my cough is almost gone, so I don't need to deviate any more. And I don't have any caffeine withdrawal headache and don't exepct it.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Biphasic sleep log - Day 9 - 29th Jan

Evening 29th:
I was quite fine in the day but my business in the town took much longer than expected, then after coming back home and having something to eat I could get into bed at exactly 18:00.

I set two alarms today one for 1845 and one for 1945. I had been feeling a crunch of time, Saturday already gone and I had so much stuff to do that I hadn't even started on yet, so why not push this sleep thing further.

After last night's evidence of quick start of REM I was thinking let's try one of those 20 minute things. Plus, if I messed it up a bit and woke up really tired tomorrow from core sleep I had my Sunday to take a small or big nap in the day.

But it didn't work out like that. I hadn't even properly fallen asleep when the first alarm rang. I blame the cold bed which was just getting properly warm and comfortable. Since I had been out in the town, my hands and feet had been freezing cold.

So, I did what I had planned to do if I felt that I'd need more sleep. I turned the alarm off and went to sleep.

Then I woke up at 1955. My alarm was ringing, but it was the safe alarm. I had a vague recollection that the first alarm which plays an MP3 playlist, had played a song and I had easily slept through it even though I heard the song in my sleep.

No harm done. I had still slept less than 90 minutes so no oversleep issue. And I felt awake now, I just got up.

Conclusion: Let's continue biphasic strictly until it becomes the default mode for my body and then try to squeeze more time out of my day.

Morning 30th:
I am realizing something - there's a lot more to following biphasic than just going to bed at a certain time.

Had another bad night last night. It was my fault. Being busy in stuff, I didn't realize the time again and ate very late about midnight. Then even though I went to bed before 0100, I wasn't ready to sleep. So, I took another half an hour and then lay down to sleep, at 0130.

I didn't have so much cough tonight, but because of the late eating, I couldn't sleep. I saw 3 AM on the clock. Then after a while I did fall asleep. In the morning, although I woke up by the alarm, I didn't want to get up.

Part of it was the weekend feeling and part of it was the effect, psychological as well as physiological, of less sleep in the night. I woke up again about 0700 I think, and then again drifted off before I realized it. Finally about 0800, I decided to get up.

So, considering I slept after 3, it was not a long sleep, 5 hours or less. But lying awake in bed, in-between sleep and awake, that can't be good while training your body to enter REM state immediately.

So here's the plan. To keep following the schedule, but pay greater attention to eating times. Caffeine is already controlled with only tea with meals. Ah yes, I bet that was a big part of the problem last night. Hopefully, I'll have better results to report soon.

P.S. I did have long, vivid dreams, with very good recall in the morning. 

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Biphasic sleep log - Day 8 - 28th Jan

Evening 28th:

Throughout the day I was a bit confused about my physical condition. Mentally I felt fully alert and awake, physically I felt a bit tired. And I kept thinking if could be the Lemsip Max still mixed with the refreshing dose of Vicks Cough syrup (has a little alcohol too) or it could be my changed sleeping pattern.

I did have the tiniest tiny bit of caffeine in the afternoon, but I think it was too small to affect anything. Here's how I know it was the tiniest.

You see,  I have figured out how to get just milk from the coffee machine. When I punch the code for Latte, it goes through the following process,
1. The cup falls down into the slot
2. It pours hot milk into the cup
3. It pours hot water into the cup
4. It pours a liquid mix of coffee into the cup
5. It beeps to let you know your drink is ready.

What I do is, to pull the cup out right after step two and there I have myself a cup of hot, sweet milk to enjoy with my mid-morning snack. Today I didn't want pure milk because of my cough, so I stuck the cup back in, at step 4 just for a fraction of a second.

And then too, I didn't finish it, I had only a few sips of it to finish my snack.

And that's how I am sure that my alertness was not aided by the caffeine. Good thing though, is that I am able to report that caffeine withdrawal symptoms were much less pronounced today. I had a slight headache around 10:00 or so when I usually used to have a Latte but it went away on its own within about an hour.

I had a short day today, so I was back home by 1600. But keeping my discipline about the schedule, did not go down for my nap until almost 18:00.

But something went wrong today with the nap. I went to bed at about 17:50 and I had the alarm set for 19.45, allowing me time to fall asleep and also a little time after the 90 minutes to see if I'd wake up before the alarm went off.

I think I woke up about 19:00 or before and thought I was supposed to be up. I looked at the alarm time, but as I might have mentioned I am useless at time arithmetic when I am half-asleep. From then I was between sleep and waking state until the alarm actually did go off. At that time I woke up and sat up.

One guess is that I might be getting to that stage where I don't really need a nap as long as 90 minutes. Esp. considering the psychological effect of reading so much about Uberman, Everyman and the fact that 20 minutes is the most effective time for napping.

At any rate, it's 21:22 and I am fully awake now, but a bit of sleep dep feeling is there. I would get more alert and less sleep dep in about an hour as I am most alert around that time of evening.

For this weekend, I am considering various options. One is to concede one morning's sleep for the sickness (just the cough/cold) and sleep as long as it feels good to sleep. Another option is to reduce the evening nap on the weekend and add another short 20 nap somewhere just to see how it feels.

And another option, of course is not to monkey with the experiment and just continue on strictly biphasic routine as usual. I am considering this the strongest option but we'll see how I feel tomorrow morning and might consider it prudent to sleep a couple of extra hours in the morning.

29th Morning
It was not a good night. Part of the problem for sure is the cough. It wakes me up if I get too much cough and that just messes with my mind.

Last night I forgot the time and it was 00:30 before I noticed. So, finally ended up on bed about 01:10. Set the alarm for 0600.  and tried to sleep.

I woke up at 0150.

And I remembered very definitely that I had been dreaming. I even remembered part of the dream. It was most definitely not hypnogogic imagery. Even in my just awake mind I was happy about that dream as that meant that my body is adapting to the biphasic way and entered REM state in less than 40 minutes!

Then I went back to sleep.

In the morning, I decided to sleep a couple more hours since I had had a slightly disturbed night even after 0150 and had been coughing.

So I finally woke up about 0810.

Conclusion and planning. I think I made the right decision about sleeping extra this morning as I have been coughing much less today and feel healthier and more alert. I didn't need a shower to fully wake me up.

I am quite happy that my body is adapting and after another week I will think about either stopping with this log or reduce frequency.

I am already thinking about trying some different combinations to reduce the amount of sleep I need per day, but reason says that I should live on biphasic for at least a month before doing anything fancy.

Since I had things to do today, it is now at 1518 that I am writing this and still I am out and about. The 18:00 nap time seems very near and I am thinking "Where did the day go?" I suspect it's the effect of having slept till 0800 today.

Tomorrow I plan to follow the program as usual. Same for the nap this evening.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Biphasic sleep log - Day 7 - 27th Jan

The day was quite okay, in terms of level of alertness. Caffeine dose today was only a tea I made myself in the morning. But there was no headache today. I did feel tired, like aching back and legs, that could have been from the caffeine withdrawal.

Was working from home, so more time in front of the computer and less breaks, but still didn't feel like I was too tired. Actually, I was afraid I wouldn't be able to fall asleep easily. Did some housework and that made me a little late for the planned 18:00. So I was in bed about 18:08.

Evening 27th:
The nap:
Last evening for the nap and later for core sleep I had followed the advice of other polyphasers to leave a small lamp on. Since all the lamps I have are too bright, I just left my TV on. No, no, don't get on my case yet, let me explain!

My second computer is connected to my 26" LCD TV by way of a VGA cable. I use it to watch movies, TV shows etc. etc. since I don't watch any live TV anyway. (These days my second laptop is down with Windows-itis so it's my 4th computer, my little UMPC that's performing this duty.) At night, I put this on blank screen screensaver so I can sleep. Last night I left it on, so it was a little more than a small lamp but less than a big lamp. Actually, I can reduce the brightness with a different wallpaper.

Anyway, I couldn't do it for the nap today as it was too bright for me and I was not too sleepy to begin with.

So going down at 1812 I set the alarm for 20.00.

Then I woke up at 19.35 and saw the time and tried to remember what time I was supposed to be up. It felt like I was coming out of core sleep until I saw the time (Most of my clocks including phone and laptops are in 24 hour format.)

Time arithmetic is never easy to do when my head is filled with woolly clouds. So, I tried to sleep couple more minutes then checked the set alarm time then finally just woke up. By 19.40 I was up. Feeling rested and fresh once I sat up.

And hungry, of course.

Time now is 20:30 I'll update this with next mornings findings before posting it. That's my usual practice, btw, even though I post in Day-long chunks, I type it after each part of the sleep in order to capture all the data that's fresh in my mind.

Morning 28th:
I don't know what happened there. I woke up before the alarm rang, exactly at 0545, but it took a LOT of willpower to keep my eyes open. It was the return of the "Let me sleep or kill me" feeling. Thankfully, it was Friday.

The only thing I can think of is, last night I took a gulp of Lemsip Max to fight off the cough/cold I have and it immediately made me drowsy. It must have some alcohol in it. I lay down about 0045 last night though I closed my eyes only at 0100. Fell asleep within about 15 minutes by my guess and this morning...still had that same drowsy/drunk kind of feeling.

I am considering treating this as a "sick" condition and taking a long sleep tomorrow not getting up until my body is ready. I figure by now I should be able to do that for one day without abandoning my schedule but I also had another plan to early morning tomorrow.

Further on today though, the drowsy feelings hasn't left me yet, even after my Chai and one hour of travel, so it could be more than just Lemsip, it could even be the accumulated sleep dep. We'll see how today goes.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Biphasic sleep log - Day 6 - 26th Jan

The day was okay, I had work and meetings so didn't have to fight off sleep but sleep dep was there in the form of some tiredness and in the head.

Got a headache from the second meeting, about 11 O'clock, but realized later that that must be from lack of caffeine. I hadn't had any coffee today, just a mild tea in the morning. But continued with headache and didn't feel too bad.

But just like yesterday it got worse as time passed. The cough added to the headache. Caffeine withdrawal might have given me the headache but at least I didn't have nausea today.

Was feeling pretty tired by 16:30 which is my leaving time but didn't try to nap in the train, sticking to the schedule for the time being.

At least once in my life I do want to try Uberman sleep pattern and see what it feels like to be awake 22 hours a day every day!

Started at 1800, but of course, the cough was a factor. Still did fall asleep in about 20 minutes I think. Woke up faithfully by alarm about 1948. Felt sleepy of course, but I think it's more the seductive warmth of my bed then actual sleep that's hard to overcome. But I can't sleep without a warm bed either.

But still got up and had milk and toast for dinner. Which was a mistake. It's the safest fastest meal in cough and cold but I forgot to put a tea bag in it. That could have helped with the headache but oh well.

After a while felt the most alert and awake I have felt since I started this routine. Other than the headache, really felt that I had extra time.

One of the problems with reading about Polyphasic esp. Uberman is that I feel like Biphasic is trivial stuff. But can't really do Uberman or even Everyman while I am working full time. Though I do want to reduce the sleeping time under biphasic, maybe to 1.5 + 3.0 if possible. I might even try a triphasic combo though most people say they don't work.

I don't feel like sleeping 6 hours a day is a good use of the time, esp. when there are options like Uberman doing only 2 hours in the whole 24 hours a day.

Let's do some sleep arithmetic, shall we?

5 days in the week I sleep about 11 and get up about 6. If I get up at 5 to play or have breakfast, then I feel the sleep dep in a day or two. Not sustainable.
And still Friday evening I feel so tired I sleep about 1900 and sleep till about 0800 Sat morning. That's 13 hours.
Then Sat night I stay up late, usually till about 0100 or 0200 and sleep about 10 hours.

So, in a 7-day week I do..
5 days x 7 hours = 35 hours
Friday night = 13 hours
Sat night = 10 hours

That's a total of 58 hours.

With the new routine I will have 6 hours x 7 days = 42 hours. A net saving of 16 hours in a week. That's 2 working days every week! Combined with alertness, health benefits, energy levels, quality of sleep I think basic is well worth doing even at that saving.

Morning 27th Jan:

It's getting hard to assess progress now. I mean, hard to pinpoint and say how difficult it was to wake up. For example, this morning I was quite business-like - the alarm rang at 0545, I woke up, looked at the alarm, and propped up an elbow.

I did feel like I wanted a few more hours of sleep but I still got up. So, as I said, it might be getting easier, or it might be just today. I should mention again that I didn't have to go to office today so I could easily have slept 2 more hours without any issue.

On health side, cough is still there, and may be responsible for the slight headache, but other than that the energy level is good, I felt fully alert and awake even as I was brushing my teeth. Usually, after even 7-8 hours of monophasic I am about half-asleep for a couple of hours or until my shower, whichever is first.

The benefit I am looking forward to with biphasic, other than getting more time, is the eradication of the "let me sleep or kill me" feeling in the mornings. On the flip side is the joy I currently have in sleeping late on weekends, but who knows I might enjoy being up and at'em early when I have the energy and the drive for it.

These days I do enjoy, or used to enjoy, the Sat morning period of rolling over and going back to sleep several times until finally urge to check email would prevail over the desire to roll over one more time.

So, in short, with 6 days of the biphasic experiment gone, things are still good.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Biphasic sleep log - Day 5 - 25th Jan

Evening 25th:

Energy levels during the day were fine, though there was the undercurrent of sleep dep. Maybe reading about polyphasic adds to the feeling of sleep dep. I had meetings and other work to keep me busy so that was good to distract me, but it got worse as the day wore on.

By the time I got home I was ready to puke. Maybe some of that was from the cough though I am not very sure.

Was home at 1738 with a plan to sleep at 1800. I did get into bed but couldn't sleep quickly. That WAS the coughing. I'd get to the hypnogogic stage and then start coughing waking myself up. That went on for half an hour then I changed the alarm to get up 90 minutes from then.

Did get up in 90 minutes by the alarm and felt better for the rest but not entirely rested. The nausea was a little better but not entirely gone and forgotten. Two things help me get up from the nap, 1 the fact that I have another sleep coming in a few hours and 2, that I will be at home between now and next sleep doing anything I like - eating, games, TV, no work crap.

Feeling a bit tired, esp. my back.

Bought medicine from London so as to thwart the cold before it takes hold and messes up my plans.

Have cancelled guitar class for tomorrow evening, I am no good in the evening these days. Secondly, don't want to miss another evening nap during this adaptation period.

Morning 26th:
Last night wrapped everything up and was in bed by 00:44. Set the alarm for 05:30 with 15 minutes of falling asleep time as usual. But we all know it doesn't work that easily!

Didn't fall asleep till about 0100 at which time I applied some Vicks Vaporub to the throat as it was again the cough that was pulling me back from the hypnogogic stage.

Saw the time but didn't change the alarm. Thankfully, fell asleep soon after, maybe 5 minutes or so.

0535: Woke up by the ringing alarm. I should mention that I use only one alarm on my phone. My problem is not usually in opening my eyes, but actually closing them again after turning the alarm off.

This morning was the same. I opened my eyes easily, and it did feel like the end of a sleep cycle. But the effort it took to not close them again...! Again it was not the thought of work that made me stay awake but the thought of how much I have already invested in this biphasic endeavour.

Warm shower felt really good and woke me up much better. Chai at the station instead of coffee again though I am thinking of staying away from all caffeine for the rest of the day. I had a strong Costa cafe latte yesterday late morning, and I think it might have contributed to the nausea.

Planning to drink more fluids though, water, Lucozade, cough syrup..:)

The feeling today is not an underlying sleep dep but a full on one. Still I would not say it's very strong. My eyes are not hurting, but it feels like if I blink for too long I'd fall asleep.

I have work and meetings today too so we'll see how it goes. One thing I can tell you, I started waiting for the evening nap right after I woke up this morning.

I am worried about tomorrow as I am working from home and it'll be much harder to fight off sleep.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Biphasic sleep log - Day 4 - 24th Jan

Let me start with the day. In the morning, I was a bit tired, not much to count, but as the day progressed, I felt more and more sleep deprived. It could be psychosomatic effect of reading too much about Uberman sleep schedule etc.

By the time I got home, at 1830, I was well ready for my nap. So went to bed at 1900, with an alarm for 2045. Woke up at 2048 by the alarm and didn't know which way up was the sky. Got up as per the plan, but it was hard. I was not only tired but the nausea I was feeling before as a result of sleep dep was worse.

I have had a slightly sore throat since Sunday morning, today it was worse, and I have cough, so that would be adding to it. I really can't afford a cold right now otherwise following PureDoxyK's advice I'd have to stop with biphasic for the time being. Definitely don't wanna waste my already spent effort. I am on day 4, almost halfway through the adjustment period. :-D

Planning to take some vitamin C to avoid the fate worse than death - cold!


Okay, I can see that things are going to get interesting.
I had the alarm set for 0545. But I woke up at 0522. Feeling completely tired and very much in need of sleep. Tried to decide if I want to sleep till the alarm or this is the right time to wake up as it would be the end of a cycle.
It didn't seem like the end of a cycle judging from how deeply in the grips of sleep I felt. Then I blinked!
It was 0548 and the alarm was ringing. It took a lot more willpower than yesterday to prop an elbow and decide that I will be getting up. And today it was not about work at all, I could have slept another hour easily, it was all about biphasic today!
I think the one thing that did motivate me was to not waste the effort I have already invested in this endeavour. Still, I can't guarantee that I can perform the same superhuman feat tomorrow morning.

No, I am not giving up. I will try my best to do this tomorrow as well, but I can see it's getting harder. Hopefully, only for a couple of days before it starts to get a bit easier.

Another thing that helps (I am listing them all just in case it can help someone else in a similar situation), is to remember that I had just as hard a time (or harder) when getting up after a "normal" night. When I try to do any of my personal projects done, I don't get more than 6 hours of sleep, usually less.
And everybody knows that 6 hours of normal sleep is not the same as 6 hours of biphasic.
Energy level today, quite low, though a warm shower helped.

At the station got my drink. I have changed to Chai Latte since yesterday which is weaker than Latte but it still helped.

The cough is still there. I had ginger tea last night. It might have helped but I also had an omelette so maybe they canceled each other out. I really, really hope I don't get a cold. Even used a scarf today to wrap my throat.

Normal morning feeling was definitely with heavy sleep dep overtones, but coffee helped. Fortunately I have lots of work today so I wouldn't be battling boredom and sleep dep at the same time. That's a deadly combo.

Regardless of whether this experiment works or not, at some point in my life, when my schedule allows it, I plan to try the Uberman or Everman sleep schedule. But for now, let's stick to Biphasic.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Biphasic sleep log - Day 3 - 23rd Jan

I just realized something about this log - the two parts of my sleep actually fall on different days. My evening nap is before midnight, so in the first date, then the core sleep falls after midnight into the next day/date. Without realizing it I started reporting the times in a cross-date manner, that is combining the nap and the core sleep that follows it into one day. That, I think, is sensible and that's how I am going to continue keeping this log.
So this day will talk about the nap on Sunday evening, plus the core sleep after that which technically falls on Monday.

Continued with biphasic today. Had a Salsa class all afternoon that ended at 17.15 in London. Got back about 19.00 and decided to take the nap from 19.30. Set the alarm for 21.15 with 15 minutes falling-asleep time. Woke up about 21.00 however and decided to just wake up. Maybe it was my housemate's TV in the next room that woke me up but it felt natural to stay up.

Did feel a bit tired especially in the legs but that might have been more to do with the 4-5 hour Salsa class then the sleeping.

Core sleep: Left everything at 0100 and went to bed by 0110. Set the alarm for 0545, including you know, the falling asleep time though cutting it down a bit.
Took a while to get to sleep, as I saw 0115 on the clock, maybe as much as 0130 which I didn't see.
Woke up at least twice in the night, both times roughly falling on the 90-minute sleep cycle boundaries. First one was about 0247, second somewhere after 0400. I did have a drink of water both times, though I am not sure if I woke up from the thirst or just being in-between sleep cycles the thirst prevailed over sleep. Both times fell back into sleep easily and quickly.
Woke up at 0547 with the alarm ringing. I use an app called Gentle Alarm on my Android phone. It gives me the option to fade in any sound when the alarm rings. I have set it to an MP3 playlist with shuffle option and a fade-in time of 2 minutes. So, I think I would have woken up exactly at 0545 if I had set a loud alarm.
I was not feeling as much in the grips of sleep as I usually do so I could get up with only a mild dose of willpower. The fact that it was a working day might have added motivation though I doubt it was much. I had the option to leave by 0740 today, so I could have slept till 0700 if I wanted to.

Decided to leave at 0640 instead of 0740 now that I was up. At the station I decided to try Chai Latte instead of my usual Latte, so less caffeine. That might be the reason why I am yawning a bit now but we'll observe the rest of day and I'll edit this entry to add the day's observations.

Though, the funny thing is other than the yawning I feel great in the body, fully refreshed, no tiredness, aches or pains. I did use my favourite muscle relaxant Moov last night even though I didn't really need it, simply not to mix the Salsa tiredness with the sleep adjustment tiredness.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Biphasic sleep log - Day 2 - 22nd Jan

Couldn't do it today as I decided to attend a class in the evening. Since that was in London at 6.30 I could not take a nap. So, decided to go monophasic just for tonight and following the advice from the forums added 1.5 to my intended biphasic sleep (i.e. 6.0 + 1.5 ), total 7.5 hours sleep. Got up at 8.30 am this morning, therefore, and it worked very well as I felt fresh all day. Will resume the biphasic efforts from today. 

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Biphasic sleep log - Day 1

Friday evening:
Went down for the nap at 18.30 instead of the planned 19.00 because I was feeling very tired and sleepy this being Friday. Set the alarm for 20.15 with 15 minutes to fall asleep.

Did fall asleep in about 15 minutes or less. Quality of sleep was okay, not uninterrupted deep sleep. One problem was thirst, maybe because of the burger I had on the train. So that interrupted my sleep at least once.

Finally woke up at 20.22 by the ringing alarm. Feeling not tired and groggy but not very refreshed either. Felt more refreshed after a few minutes.

The core sleep didn't really work. I went to bed at 0100 as planned, with the alarm set for 5.45. Did fall asleep in about 15 minutes or so. Woke up at 0545 by the alarm, but then didn't feel like getting up, felt tired and sleepy. So hit snooze and went back to sleep. Finally, woke up about 07.45 and got up. I think I will need to exercise more will-power if I want this to work. It's gonna be hard because my will-power is at its weakest when I am half-asleep.

But I am gonna try anyway. 

Friday, January 21, 2011

Wtf is this crap called iPad?

Okay, I agree maybe I should not be that violent about it, but Apple fanboys masquerading as independent reviewers piss me off no end. Recently, I read Engadget's review of Samsung Galaxy Tab vs. the iPad and I was appalled at the senseless way they take sides with the Apple's shitty foray into the tablet market!

I knew about both the products and bought the Galaxy Tab after comparing the features and advantages in my lifestyle. (Add that to the fact that I wouldn't be caught dead in a ditch with an iPad and it doesn't sound very objective, but I did a lot of research and tried hard to find a better alternative to the Galaxy, but I didn't.)

One thing they keep harping on is the size, yes the SamTab is almost half the size of the iPad but I don't like the way they portray it to be a bad thing. Size, in both devices, is both a pro and a con depending on your persepective. A 7" screen SamTab can be put in the pocket, yes, in a normal size, trouser front pocket or jeans backpocket. I have done and I can walk without feeling it digging into my thigh. The jacket pocket is even easier, I can even put it in the jacket pocket with the thick protective case on.

But then, a 9.7" screen display would be better than a smaller 7" screen display. Although in that case, not by much. The SamTab has a resolution of 1024x600 whereas the iPad sports only a resolution of 1024x768 for a screen that's about double in size. So it's not just about size, it's about quality as well.

The big issues with the iPad like it's a dumb device that can't make phone calls even though it uses a 3G sim card they gloss over it or actually try to be funny saying who would want to use a huge 7" phonep pressed to their ear. What these idiots don't know or don't tell is that you can't make a call like that, you use either the speakphone or a bluetooth handsfree. I have used both with the SamTab and the experience is fantastic!

I keep 2 lines, one of them is my primary while the other one I use sparingly. If I wanted to I could put my primary SIM card in the SamTab and take it out, leaving my phone home. iPad owners can't do that.

Let's talk about the cameras, oh, sorry, what cameras? iPad doesn't have any! The reviewing idiots try to make you think that it's stupid to have a camera on device this big. Maybe so, but think about this, you are in the train, reading an ebook on the SamTab, you suddenly look out the window and see a beautiful building that just takes your breath away! What do you do? You lift up the SamTab, press two keys, point and click!, you have a shot!

If you were reading on the iPad would still be fumbling for your iPhone while the train moves on...

And what about video calling? I am sure the iCrap owners would say, “We don’t need it!” Yes, you need only the things Apple says you need, like Flash, you don’t need Flash!

Don't even get me started about the apps. Apple keeps boasting about its huge AppStore. The fact of the matter is that Android market is touching about 100,000 now and any app that you could get on the iCrap platform, you could get on the Android. What's more Android owners can install apps from anywhere be it Android Market, Samsung Market or the world wide internet. If you were so inclined you could program your own Android App. Apple crap owners can only walk into the Apple AppStore like sheep and pay good money for the same kind of apps available for free on the Android.

But there are two apps that make me throw out a challenge to any iLovers out there to get them on Apple any time in 2011 or the near future. One of them is Locale, the other one is Tasker. They both do the same kind of thing with Tasker being cheaper (about £3) and more configurable. What do they do? Let me give you an example.

If the day is Monday to Friday and the time between 8 am and 5 PM, when your trains reaches within 1000 yards of the Charing Cross station, the phone (or your Android device) speaks, in clear words, in your ear (through headphones if you are listening to music on your way to work), "Your station is approaching. Get ready to disembark!"

You can create that level of detailed, fully configurable condition-based actions in Tasker. I know this fascinates you so, a couple more examples that I use personally.

If I am at home (it knows by time), and I plug in the charger, when the battery gets full, the phone says, "The battery is full."

When I get home, (it knows by seeing that my home wifi is in range), it reminds me of things I needed to do after I got home. It reads out a note, so I can continue to change while listening to it.

When my cousin calls, it brings up a dialog box containing items I needed to discuss with him. Of course, I created the note in advance and kept adding to it as I remembered more topics, but it's triggered only when he calls.

The possibilities are endless. Apple crap owners can never have that because Apple would never open its iOS platform to developers to that level.

On Android, both the developers and users get a free, open, uncensored environment to experiment and play around in. Google encourages people to experient, they don’t even mind that people root their phone. Apple's Walled Garden is just that, a restricted area for the iSheep to gather in.

The one thing Apple does best is to create a design, (no it doesn't have to be a good design) and spend unthinkable amounts of money to make it popular by marketing until it starts to look "Oh so sexy!" to its victims!

The one thing SamTab cannot do is have a 10" screen. The things iPad can't do can fill a whole blog not just a blog post.

Oh, another thing is battery life, iPad is supposed to have 10 hours of battery life whereas SamTab has only 7 hours. I don’t know if iPad lives up to its claim but SamTab does. Objectively speaking, 10 hours battery life would be good to have, but even 7 is quite good for me. In everyday use I use it for an hour in the morning and an hour in the evening on the train. I can think of some other situations where I would use it for about 3 hours or so, but 7 is quite nice and reassuring to have.

Even when I fly to India, my flight is about 8.5 hours long, with settling in process and the other general stuff, I don’t even get to use a device (in the past my Android phones or PSP) for 7 hours in the whole flight. But judging from the performance so far, it should be able to do more than 7 hours on one charge. I take it off charger in the morning when I leave for work, and use it continuously on the train for slightly over an hour. By the time I get to office, it uses about 12-14% or charge with the screen being always on.

I have been writing the dirty i-words a lot in this post, excuse me while I go wash my hands!

I am going biphasic!

Before I am accused of trying to confuse my public, let me give you some basic information. Here is the link where I started:

In simple words, it’s a way of taking your daily sleep in 2 instalments instead of one big chunk. First part is a small nap of about 1.5 hours and then a core sleep of about 4.5 hours a few hours later. I had read about Polyphasic sleep before, the kind of Leonardo da Vinci is supposed to have used, where you take a 30 minute nap every 6 hours, sleeping only 2 hours in a 24 hour day. For obvious reasons that’s not possible for me to try when I am working, but I just found this biphasic stuff from this blog:

and decided to try it.

So, I am going to try it tonight.

Now, I know the big question in your mind is “why”?

There are many reasons, one of them being just to try something new and unorthodox, but there are 3 main, important reasons.

1. Get extra time. Recently, I started working full-time again, and going from having all 24 hours at my disposal to having only 3-4 hours to do everything I want to do is very hard. All my projects I started in Second Life during my Idle period are suffering, and as I tried to catch up with them, my guitar was left forgotten. I can’t allow that to happen.This is one of the straegies to get some extra time and use it to work on all my crap.

2. Quality of sleep. I have been noticing it for a long time now that I don’t sleep that soundly as I used to. In my “youth” I have literally slept through earthquakes and hurricanes. But these days I don't sleep so well even if I am extremely tired.

One time I thought this was because of my over-involvement in my digital life and my brain is focused there. Maybe so. So, I turned off both my laptops, including the media laptop that's connected to the TV, turned off the TV instead of on screen-saver as I usually do, put the primary laptop in a corner instead of on my bed and went to bed. It was eerily silent in the room and dark, without the HDD LEDs and the laptop fans, but the sleep was no better.

Recently, it's been becoming a pattern to sleep about 6 PM on the Friday afternoon and sleep till 7 am on Saturday to catch up with the lack of sleep during the week, even though I get up about 6-7 hours a night. I love sleep, I really do, but 13 hours out of my 24 hours is a bit much. I do have things I want to accomplish.

So, this might help with that.

3. More energy, better well-being. People who have tried this have reported much better energy levels throughout the day starting from the morning. I feel tired and sleepy in the afternoons regardless of the number of hours slept.

My plan is to have the nap somewhere between 7.00 and 9.00 PM and the core sleep from 1.00 am to 5.30 am. If I get up that early in the morning, I will consider walking to the station to catch the train for work. One reason I take a taxi now is that the 1.5 miles, uphill walk in the cold costs about 25 minutes of my day and I don't have that much to spare right now. If the sleep works and I have the time and the energy I will try walking to the station at least on the days when it's not raining.

One side-effect of that will be I'd save some money on the taxi fare.

With the extra time on my hands, esp. in the late night hours, I will be able to do some nice work. I have been meaning to write more lately. And of course, blog more. There are also some new areas of hobby/self-improvement that I want to get into. This might give me time for that
So, the plan is to start tonight since it's Friday and the next 2 days are more or less my own. I plan to take the nap from 7Pm to 8.30 PM tonight, then core sleep from 1.00 am to 5.30 am.

I will try to keep a log, maybe on here. Watch this space..

The first couple of weeks are supposed to be hard on the body while it adapts, so wish me luck!

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